Course Code E1803P52
Tutor Susanne du Toit
Dates Mondays, 29th April - 1st July 2019
Days 10
Times 10.00am – 5.00pm
Experience Level Intermediate/Advanced
Fee £500

This course gives students with some experience of figure and portrait painting the opportunity to think more carefully about the context within which they paint a portrait and their intentions for their painting. The course is intended to help you to think more broadly about how you might work with a model to create paintings, utilising wider cultural references to bring a different layer of meaning to the work. Each week will start with an introduction to and discussion of a cultural reference; artists and art movements, theatre, film and literature. Guided by your tutor, the group will jointly establish a series of scenes or poses taking inspiration from these references as the basis for their paintings.

What level is this course?

This course is suitable for students at our Intermediate level.

  • Intermediate

    Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

Other course levels include:

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

  • Beginner +

    Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

  • Advanced

    Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

What should I bring?

Below is a list of what is currently required for the course. Please also check the ‘what to bring’ sections above. Your tutor will advise if further materials or equipment are required as the course progresses.

Students will need to bring the following:

  • Bristle brushes (a mix of flat and round)
  • Charcoal
  • Putty rubber
  • Canvas or board, plus small boards or oil painting paper
  • Only odourless spirits, Sansodor or Zest-it (the Academy is a white spirit free environment)
  • Canvas/ canvas boards/primed boards of 24 x 36” ( Note: this size is not available from the Art Academyand will need to be sourced elsewhere, e.g. Cass Art, Atlantis, Jacksons )
  • Oil paints to include: Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue andTitanium White.
  • Susanne would like students to be using a wider palette and whilst it is not necessary you have all of theadditional below colours, it would be helpful to have these:
    • Indian yellow
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Cobalt Violet
    • Paynes Grey
    • Sap Green
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Van Dycke Brown
    • Ivory Black

Please note that the colours in bold are not available from the Art Academy shop.

You will need to bring your own painting materials to the class, which you can store at The Art Academy for the duration of the course. If you do not have your own materials, we recommend you order the one of the Painting Packs, below, at the time of booking, which will be available when you arrive for your first class. There is also a mini shop in the Academy that supplies the basics such as canvas boards, paints, Zest-it etc. (card purchases only).

The Academy is a white spirit and turpentine free environment and only odourless spirits, such as Zest-it or Sansodor, are permitted on the premises. These can also be recycled on site. If you are using oil paints you must bring 1 small jar with a lid to hold your solvent as this should be reused each week. If you want to dispose of your solvent please speak to your tutor as these cannot be poured down the sink and must be disposed of correctly. 

Please also bring an apron or old clothing to wear.

The Oil Pack contains:

A set of bristle brushes, both flat and round
One tear off palette (9”x12”)
One palette knife
One bottle of Zest-it (250ml)
One 10″x12″ canvas board
One 10″x14″ canvas board
Two 12″x16″ canvas boards
Eight Daler Rowney 38ml Georgian oil tubes of Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, Coeruleum Blue and Burnt Umber

Please note that pack contents are subject to change at the discretion of the Academy at any time.

About Your Tutor

Susanne du Toit is a painter, printmaker, and ceramicist who has exhibited widely and won several awards for her work. She has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a Masters in Fine Arts, majoring in printmaking and painting, from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, USA. She has won awards at competitions including the Royal Watercolour Society and the Chichester Open Art Exhibitions, and won the prestigious BP Portrait Award in 2013. Her main practice is currently portraiture, and she has painted various personalities from the world of arts and entertainment, such as screenwriter Stephen Beresford and actors Timothy Spall, Stephen Campbell Moore and David Scwimmer.


Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

Art Academy Map

Refreshments and Facilities

All students have access to a common room and kitchen. Here you will find tea and coffee, a fridge, kettle, microwave and eating area.

There is a wealth of supermarkets, shops and cafes in the area as well as the world famous Borough Food Market just moments from our Mermaid Court location.

We are always striving to improve our facilities but due Mermaid Court being an old building we have limited disability access. Should you have any access requirements please speak to a member of the Academy team before booking the course.

Further Details

  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment.Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course.
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silentduring the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
  • Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some of our classes in progress. If you would like to not be photographed please let the photographer know!
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • If you would like more information or advice on courses at the Academy please contact

From: £500.00